The times when an eggplant salad was the only smoky-tasting dish on the menu are officially over. Today, Istanbul diners enrich their palates with smoked meats and creative smoked dishes, enjoying and welcoming culinary diversity to the local table. Here’s our brief guide to what to try, and where.
When it comes to U.S. Southern barbecue in Istanbul, Rustyfork is the real deal. It offers smoked brisket, ribs and Texas sausages—all at once and topped with mac and cheese, if that’s what your soul is longing for. Mind-blowing dipping sauces on the side are an added bonus.
Nine Dining in Moda is one of the very few, if not the only place in the city with a smoked burger on the menu. Arriving under a foggy, glass dome, Mistyburger’s presentation might seem a bit over the top for a little eatery with less than half a dozen tables, but a narrow culinary focus suggests that the kitchen is confident in their offering.
Recently opened Tütsü by Düvee based its entire concept on fire and smoke. Sourcing meat from the owner’s own farm, this casual restaurant in Fulya also serves as a butcher shop, guaranteeing freshness and quality in its final product.
Recognizing the city’s new trend of fired and smoked dishes, Istanbul’s first butcher shop and meat restaurant chain, Günaydin, opened its first steak and smokehouse on Bağdat Caddesi earlier this year.
Fümeci Smokehouse is a charcuterie shop that offers a wide range of cold cut products. Not limited to classic cold cuts, it offers pastrami, cotto (cured, then cooked), Western-style sausages, and traditional beef jerky.
Tok BBQ in Caddebostan mixes and matches its menu offerings, creating varied plates to share comprised of brisket, ribs, sausage, and pastrami. The pulled beef burger is among the simplest choices, in contrast to the extra meaty Umami Burger on the other side of spectrum.